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Majority schools, colleges remain deserted as students stay away in Kashmir

Despite authorities appealing parents to sent their children to educational institutes and announcing examinations for all classes from last week of October, majority of schools and colleges remained deserted on Monday as students preferred to stay away in Kashmir valley, where people are protesting against scrapping of Article 370 and Article 35 A on August 5.

However, the officials in the education department are hopeful that with the restoration of postpaid mobile phone services, parents will now send their children to schools.

A group of reporters who visited different schools, including Higher Secondary Schools (HSSs), and colleges in the city saw these educational institutes deserted with only teaching and supporting staff waiting for students.

Gandhi College, Nawakadal Women’s College in downtown, Amar Singh College, and Women’s College M A road were deserted with only teaching and supporting staff available at these institutes. But, security forces remained housed at S P School in civil lines in Srinagar.

The government ordered closure of all educational institutions on August 5, when the Centre scrapped Article 370 and 35 A, besides divided the state into two Union Territories. However, educational institutions reopened in winter capital, Jammu and Ladakh after about two weeks in a phased manner but remained closed in the valley.
After remaining closed for more than a month, government ordered reopening of primary and middle schools first followed by High and Higher Secondary Schools (HSS) and on October 9 colleges in the valley, where life remained crippled due to spontaneous strike from August 5.

However, students continued to stay away and did not attended their classes in private and government institutions as parents were not ready to send their children to schools due to uneasy situation in the valley, including Srinagar.

Meanwhile, parents asked how was it possible for them to take risk and send their children to schools when there is no public transport, schools buses are not plying, while shops and business establishments remained suspended since August 5.
Many private schools have rented rooms in different localities to conduct examination for students while others have said that they will promote students on the basis of home assignments submitted by children.

Private schools have been proactive in giving assignments and study material to students to prepare them for examinations though children from government institutes were not that lucky as no such facility was available for them.

“How can we give examination when over 40 per cent of our syllabus is incomplete? The students in private schools have received study materials, but no such facility was available in government schools. Even the tuition centres were not functional and on top of that internet also remained suspended from last 70 days,” Adnan Ahmad, a class 12 student, told UNI.
How will this help us prepare for the competitive examinations, he asked.
Similarly, some coaching centers in the valley had shifted their institutes outside the state along with teachers and students. The coaching centers had provided hostel facilities to the students and teachers though it further burdened the pockets of the parents at a time when economy in the valley was already under huge stress due to unrest since August 5.  (UNI)